For one week only, food is taking a back seat in London as all eyes turn to what’s in our glasses. Prepare your milk thistle, as Monday sees the start of the third-annual London Cocktail Week.
Events run through until next Sunday, and include a pop-up whisky shop in Covent Garden; drinks-tastings galore; cocktail-matched dinners; guided cocktail tours and much more. Potentially even better still, getting yourself a London Cocktail Week wristband will entitle you to bargain £4 cocktails throughout the week at more than one hundred and fifty bars across the city, from Shoreditch to Soho via The Shard.
Next week also sees London play host to the World’s 50 Best Bars awards, being held in Mayfair. We can reveal that an impressive eight London venues have made it onto the list, including last year’s winner, Artesian near Oxford Circus, as well as Nightjar at Old Street and Happiness Forgets in Hoxton. So that’s another reason for a drink, then.
With so much cocktail action across the capital, you’ll understand why we thoughtfully put together a guide to avoiding hangovers for you here. A good place to start is by lining your stomach, so it’s fortuitous that today also sees the launch of London Restaurant Festival. This ever-popular three week celebration of eating out brings with it special value menus at top restaurants, meet-the-chef events and Gourmet Odyssey tours where diners can enjoy a three course meal split across three different restaurants. All the details are online here.
For something a little more local, you might want to check out Brixton Food Fest, which started this week and runs until Saturday. There are special offers and menus at venues across the area, and it all culminates with an International Food Festival on Brixton Station Road this weekend, featuring more than twenty-eight stalls showcasing cuisines from around the world.
If you’re looking for yet more places to eat, you might want to consider some of the restaurants awarded much-coveted Michelin stars as this year’s high flyers were announced late last week. Those gaining a star include Tom Sellers’ restaurant, Story; high-end Peruvian, Lima; maverick experimental Chinese, Bo London; and Jason Atherton’s newest restaurant, Social Eating House. The Greenhouse and Heston Blumenthal’s Dinner, were both awarded a rare second star. You can see the full list here, though you may have to save up if you fancy trying them all. You could put some money in the pot from what you save on those £4 cocktails, though…